5 ADHD Nutrition Myths To Ignore, According to a Dietitian

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The net is afloat of ways to “hack your health” pinch food, astir of which are rooted successful wellness culture (cough, fare culture). Examples see nan “need” to detox (fake), nan benefits of chlorophyll water (not arsenic clear-cut arsenic it’s portrayed connected TikTok), skipping retired connected dairy for your gut health (myth!), and more. These “trends,” truthful to speak, get america further and further distant from knowing what our assemblage is really telling america it needs and wants…but I’ll get connected my soapbox astir that different day.

For now, let’s talk astir nan intersection of fare and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the  ADHD nutrition myths to extremity believing. Hint: If you’ve heard nan old misconception that sweetener makes kids hyper, you already person an thought of what we’re talking astir here.

The astir communal ADHD nutrition myths to extremity believing

Myth 1: Processed nutrient makes ADHD symptoms worse

In short, research simply doesn’t backmost this up1. “The investigation we do person disposable is simply a lawsuit study, which only looked astatine children and their depletion of processed foods, and whether aliases not these children displayed ADHD symptoms,” says Madelyn Larouche, RD, a non-diet, ADHD dietitian. “The study did not look astatine origin and effect.”

Part of busting this story requires busting another: Food being processed isn't ever a "bad" thing.  (Yep, processed foods tin beryllium nutrient-dense and bully for your body.)

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Myth 2: Refined sugars make ADHD symptoms worse

Similarly, nan (little) investigation connected sugar and ADHD1 didn’t find immoderate links. What's more, sugars (and nan carbs that break down into them) are important for our bodies. “Carbohydrates are an basal macronutrient that humans request to function, and are besides nan body’s preferred substance source,” Larouche says.

A speedy nosy fact: The encephalon of an average-sized big needs 130 grams of carbs per time for patient encephalon function, which is nan balanced of astir nine slices of multigrain bread. In different words, you need much carbs than you astir apt realize. Without capable carbs successful your system, you whitethorn acquisition debased energy, trouble focusing, and more.

Larouche makes different helpful, validating, constituent astir this successful a pinned Instagram post, successful which she writes: “There is thing incorrect pinch utilizing nutrient arsenic a root of stimulation! Pair nan carb pinch a macromolecule aliases a fat for a much satisfying snack that will thief you consciousness satiated and to beforehand unchangeable humor sugars.” This doesn’t mean you're “addicted to sugar,” either, arsenic she types successful nan reel.

Along those lines, it’s important to debar demonizing immoderate foods. “There is nary ‘good’ aliases ‘bad’ carbohydrate,” Larouche adds.

Myth 3: Gluten makes ADHD symptoms worse

Larouche says location are presently nary studies that look astatine nan relationship betwixt ADHD and a gluten-free diet. “The only logic anyone should beryllium limiting aliases wholly excluding gluten is if they person celiac disease aliases are delicate to gluten,” she says.

In fact, cutting retired nutrient groups for illustration these erstwhile you don’t request to tin origin problems. In particular, Larouche points to nutrient deficiencies and a leaky gut.

Myth 4: Dairy makes ADHD symptoms worse

Just for illustration gluten, Larouche says nary investigation has looked astatine nan nexus betwixt dairy and ADHD, truthful there’s nary request to limit your intake unless you person an allergy aliases intolerance.

Plus, by cutting retired dairy if you don't person to, you're missing retired connected its awesome benefits: “Dairy is simply a awesome root of calcium and vitamin D, which support bony health,” Larouche adds. “Excluding dairy for nary known reason—especially erstwhile you’re not supplementing pinch calcium and vitamin D—can lead to rickets successful children and/or osteoporosis successful adults.”

Myth 5: Intermittent fasting reduces ADHD symptoms

According to Larouche: "Folks pinch ADHD who are eating each 3 to 4 hours will acquisition much focused power than those who are fasting and going agelong periods of clip without eating." She recommends that you alternatively eat a balanced meal wrong 1 to 2 hours of waking up, and eat each 3 to 4 hours after.

And that makes sense, arsenic not eating enough tin lead to persistent thoughts astir food, debased energy, temper changes, and different undesirable broadside effects.

Further, Larouche recommends eating a assortment of foods. Doing truthful tin support power levels, attraction span, focus, and wide wellness, she says.

Don’t person overmuch clip aliases power for cooking? That’s okay—don’t fto it beryllium a roadblock, if astatine each possible. “Choose quick, easy options to thief trim nan time, steps, and overwhelm you whitethorn acquisition erstwhile it comes to repast prep," Larouche recommends. ADHD-friendly dinners are a point that tin make capable meals much accessible and possibly even…exciting.

When your extremity is to go amended informed astir your nutrient choices and really they impact your wide health, it's important to amended yourself astir nan facts astir your dietary choices, which tin look for illustration busting immoderate ADHD nutrition myths aliases different lies fare culture would person you judge are true.

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to backmost up nan accusation we share. You tin spot america on your wellness journey.

  1. Lange, Klaus W., et al. “Diet and Food successful Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” Journal of Future Foods, vol. 2, no. 2, 2020, pp. 112-118, https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1016/j.jfutfo.2022.03.008.
  2. Lange, Klaus W., et al. “Diet and Food successful Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” Journal of Future Foods, vol. 2, no. 2, 2020, pp. 112-118, https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1016/j.jfutfo.2022.03.008.